When You Reach a Turning Point at The Beginning of a New Venture

How Do You Know What To Do For The Best?

Warehouse Space
Photo by Zach Heiberg on Unsplash

A Case Study: Kieran’s Story:

During his final semester at college, Kieran, together with Paul and Thomas — his classmates and flatmates, set up a website designed to connect students with landlords directly — without the need of estate agents. They figured cutting out the middle person was a win/win for both sides. They put a lot of work into designing the website and marketing the service, but weeks after the launch, no one was visiting the website, and they hadn’t connected anyone. It seemed it was dead on the ground before it ever got off the ground.

Kieran believed there was viability in the idea, but Paul and Thomas didn’t. By now they had graduated, and they both wanted to focus on establishing their WorkLife, which would require time and attention. They felt they didn’t have the time to focus their attention on anything else.

The thing was, their WorkLives were going somewhere. Kieran’s wasn’t. They’d studied International Music Management, and on graduating, Paul and Thomas had landed jobs in the industry, Kieran hadn’t. They knew the direction they wanted to go in at the end of their studies. For Paul, that was artist management. For Thomas, that was record company marketing. Kieran didn’t know the direction he wanted to go in.

To top it all this off, Paul and Thomas’s work was about to take them overseas, and so they couldn’t commit to renewing the lease on their flatshare. Kieran couldn’t afford to pay the rent on his own, but he really didn’t want to give up the flat. He loved the space — it was a converted warehouse, which, although located close to the city, had the sense of detachment, which gave it privacy.

He also didn’t want to give up the website, and Paul and Thomas were OK with him taking it over and doing whatever he wanted to do with it. But what would that be? That was the BIG question.

But before he could figure that out, he first had to find new flatmates. So, he put a notice on his website. He mentioned what a great space it was for musicians — that was actually the reason behind the website in the first place — music students weren’t always welcome tenants — neighbours would complain about the noise. But the converted warehouse flat-share was perfect because of the sense of detachment and privacy. The location also attracted younger people, who were OK with all-day and all-night music.

He had immediate responses. But none of them were interested in the long-term (six months) let he had advertised. Instead, they enquired about short-term lets — a weekend, a few days or a week.

Kieran was at a turning point in his WorkLife before his venture had even started.

Did he know what to do for the best?

Not really.

All Kieran knew was that he needed to rent his flat out to pay the rent. And so he took the first rental, and then the next, and the next. Because they were short lets, he was able to charge more, quickly covering his rental costs. Then his neighbours, who were about to go travelling for six months and didn’t want to give up their flat, asked if he would sublet it for them — he did, and that was the beginning of many sublettings — in his own building and in similar type buildings throughout the city, as word of what he was doing began to spread. And it didn’t stop with his city. Soon he was getting enquiries from people about buildings in cities throughout the world that welcomed musicians to stay. And so, Kieran set about sourcing these buildings and connecting landlords, submitters and musicians.


Kieran had reached a turning point before his venture had even started — or rather when it had failed. And yet, it set him up for much greater success than he could ever have envisioned. He has now built a team to help him manage short-term lettings in cities worldwide — connecting landlords, sub-letters and musicians.

Kieran shares these:

Words Of Wisdom

“Do what you can with what you’ve got. For me, that was a website (albeit a dead one), a great space, and an idea that I believed had viability. That was enough for me, and it can be for you too.”

Do What You Can With What You’ve Got Assignment.

When you reach a turning point in your WorkLife — whether at the beginning or at a later stage, to know what you can do next, ask yourself:

What have I got? i.e. Kieran had a (dead) website, a great space, and an idea he believed had viability.

What can I do with what I’ve got? i.e. Kieran placed an ad on his website for flatmates, specifically targeted at musicians.

Remember that was enough for Kieran, and it can be for you too.


As a WorkLife Learning Practitioner and Writer, I create learning programmes and resources to help people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in good, challenging and bad times.

The focus of my work begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.

I bring you stories created from questions and answers drawn from WorkLife lessons. What I’m trying to do is to highlight different solutions, to provide you with a pathway so that even if a particular story doesn’t apply to you, you understand there is a path to follow.

Whatever you want to do, there is a clear path to it, and once you understand those steps, it becomes much more intuitive, and hopefully, it motivates you to get started. Because that’s what you need most, the motivation to get started. The motivation to follow your vision.

My book, Your WorkLife Your Way, focuses on helping you live your best WorkLife by managing your learning, development and growth, through effective self-feedback, insightful questions and the ability to shape and tell your unique story. Click on the title to see a preview of what’s inside the book.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of www.schoolofworklife.com My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.